Yusmarg to become tourist beacon for Jammu and Kashmir

The Indian state Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is looking to attract tourists with the promotion of Yusmarg as an eco-tourism hub.

The state, which was once a tourist’s paradise, has seen a steady depletion of tourist resources. However, the government is now making efforts to attract tourists with new offers and better tourism initiatives to rebuild traveller’s confidence in the destination.

Yusmarg, located in the Budgam district, is well known for its scenic beauty, and the government there is planning a three-day tourism festival to help promote it. The local administration is inviting several of the nation’s prominent tour and travel firms to Yusmarg to acquaint them with the vast tourism potential that is on offer there.

The fourth board meeting of the Yusmarg Development Authority (YDA) also has other plans to create an eco-tourism hub. The board said that the Indian Union Ministry for Tourism has sanctioned INR40m for the construction of recreation and sports centres at Yusmarg. There are also plans to develop the area into a unique adventure tourist destination and it will soon be offering activities that include mountain biking and bungee jumping. Personnel from the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering, Pahalgam, will train those tourists who are keen to try their hand at these pastimes but have no previous experience.

There are plans to develop a herbal garden in the area, with active help from the forest department. Nature lovers will also have the chance to explore the area using exclusive trekking routes and wayside facilities at nearby places, including Doodhganga, Drugdolen, Burga and Kalnag. A golf course is also to be built at Hayjan village.